Braai Day Is A Mockery Of My Culture.

2013-09-20 12:39

24 September was known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of the Zulu King, Shaka.  Shaka was the legendary Zulu King who played an important role in uniting disparate Zulu clans into a cohesive nation. Each year Zulu Kings and warriors gather at King Shaka's grave in KwaDukuza (Stanger) and honour him on this day.

To create unity from diversity after the dismantling of apartheid, Heritage Day highlights the histories of all racial groups and recognizes all the men and women who have contributed to the heritage and culture of the nation. Fair enough.

In 2005, a media campaign sought to "re-brand" the holiday as National Braai Day, in recognition of the South African culinary tradition of holding informal backyard barbecues, or braais.

NATIONAL BRAAI DAY? What an insult and mockery of what this day represents. Long ago before we decided to be political correct, this day meant something, it represented something. Now it means nothing. Nothing that is significant in preserving our culture, nothing at all. 50 years down the line it will have no meaning at all. Most  born frees don’t even know that this day was called Shaka Day before and why it was called Shaka Day or what King Shaka represented because our leaders seek to push an agenda of being politically correct yet our history goes up in flames.

I am a very proud Zulu man and it hurts to see that a celebration of my culture is being replaced by a “braai” A BRAAI!!! Whose culture does this braai represent? Sothos? Xhosa? Zulus? Certainly not. This is foreign and yet it’s being pushed down our throat for the sake of being politically correct.

Yes we braai. But I don’t want a day where I’m supposed to feel proud about my cultural background I’m being bombarded with a celebration that means nothing to me. “Braai Day”. The 24th of September is the day where I’m supposed to be celebrating one of Africa’s greatest warriors King Shaka….but no the people who believe that our culture is backward decide no, they will change it to what is convenient for them…a braai day!

What about our culture?

I grew up in an environment that preaches respect as one of the main survival strategies in life, other tribes as well have grown the same, but now we have chosen to disregard the way we were brought up and live like the Jones’s because we now believe that our culture is outdated. Certain people tell us that our culture is outdated and we agree, Instead of defending our culture and identity we oppose it.

I feel sad for our humanity every day and maybe I am making too much into this but…am I? I feel sad every time I see an 18 year old not being able to read or write his own language. I feel sad every time I see a young man disrespecting an elderly man on the streets, When did respect for the elderly stop? What has happened in this young man’s life that he wouldn't allow an elderly, frail, woman to get in front of him in line. This literally brings tears to my eyes.

Certain people have taught us that slaughtering a cow for a certain ceremony is barbaric. BARBARIC...and because they have said so we see fit that we must abolish our way of life and blend in with their way of "civilization"

What about our culture?

Now I cannot slaughter a cow because activists are up in arms declaring it barbaric? How dare you? Your “civilization” is yours and NOT ours! If you don’t like it. Tough. But don’t you dare tell me that my African way of doing things is barbaric because you disagree with it. Respect. This is why we need days like the 24th of September to remind us of our roots, culture and remind us that we need to be proud of where we come from. Braai day is not the way to do it.

What about my culture?

I am a child of AFRICA so when I speak with my elders I look down as a sign of respect. I bite my nails I write wordless words on the floor just to avoid their eyes, but they came from the west and told me that my respect was a sign of cowardice That my gestures of respect told them that I am lying... So which do I embrace... their teaching or my culture.  For when I speak I speak in tongues but not tongues of prophecy but tongues blamesphy Even then I do not speak in my mother tongue but the tongue of those that are my oppressors.  For my mother tongue they have come to term a sinful language And since I fear eternal condemnation I embrace their language with pride and I forget my oppression. So you see I am not a product of nature or that of my mother but I am a by-product of these sinful oppressions. So I embrace they sinful oppression with pride knowing that my pride is all I have.

They say “Braai Day gives South Africans an opportunity to celebrate the country's cultural heritage and diversity of traditions.” This does not make sense to me

South Africa is losing its way. We are losing our culture to satisfy other races that don’t fit into our cultural background.

I have a dream that one day South Africans will wake up and go back to their roots.

I have a dream that one day South Africans will not make a mockery of their own culture because the Western way is “better”

I have a dream that one day I will wake and be told that it’s no longer called national braai day but Heritage Day

Those who want to call it Braai day let them do. It's their democratic right. But let's not lose sight of the significance of the day. Celebrating this day by Braaing is someone else's heritage.

By the way. The founder of this rubbish day is Jan Scannell.

Can we rather go back to calling it a Heritage Day?

I am an African

Follow me on Twitter: @ThembaRadebeer

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